As archaeologists do, I was digging the other day, but in my basement, not in Greece. On a shelf, tucked away, I came across a box covered with dust; on closer inspection I noticed some objects sitting on top. As I pulled the box into the light I saw three of the most random things - things that somehow comprise a pastiche of my interests: a Greek flag, my old Catholic Mass missal, and a witch's hat.
How are these things even related, you ask? Let me see....
The Greek flag - obvious. I love Greece. Ever since, at age 11, I first set foot on the soil I fell in love with the place. The deep thrum of the earth, the ancient voices in the air, the light. There is mystery there.
The missal? My childhood comes back to me - sitting next to my mother every Sunday, listening to Father Winzerling deliver his fire and brimstone sermons, and spending the time, half-listening to the angry priest, half staring at the images surrounding me; statues of the Virgin Mary's sad face, the faces of the tortured saints, and slipping into a daydream.
Reading the story of St. Cecilia reminds me of how women have been treated throughout millennia. She is the patroness of music, it is stated at the top, but the text reads of anything but in her life: she was compelled to marry someone against her will and spent her time converting him and his brother to her faith, to a belief system. But what about her love of music? Why didn't the missal tell me about this as well?
Then there is the End of the World to deal with.
But even through the rants of Father Winzerling, the sorrowful images, the circumscribed tales of the lives of the saints, I saw beyond. There is mystery here too.
And yes, most of all, there is mystery here.
So the moral of this tale? We like what we like: there isn't always a neat explanation available. As with my random objects, as with the way of a world we work so hard to comprehend, maybe we aren't meant to understand everything, and perhaps for that we should be grateful. Maybe - as we work to see beyond the symbols of our lives - we can appreciate those quiet moments in between, that remind us to just enjoy the mysteries.